succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Personal stuff

In my last quickie update I forgot that some of you, occasionally, care about what's happening in my life (aside from my political rants). So the big news is that Mark and Carrie were here last weekend and I freakin' love those guys. Ok, maybe that last part isn't so much news. We didn't do much other than sleep and eat and drink and talk and stay up way too late, which was just about perfect in my book.
Other than that I've pretty much just been working and doing my typical political activist-type stuff in the evenings (see bottom of this post for an update on that).
I am now (finally) the proud owner of a local GA license. And to all the locals - if you have to get a license here, good grief, make an appointment at the dunwoody dmv. It's a little farther away than some of your other options (takes about 30 minutes to drive there, and will cost $1 round trip due to the toll road, but SO worth it). I spent about 2 hours total (driving there, getting the thing, and driving home) today getting mine, and overheard many many people saying they had been there for 4+ hours with no end in sight.
Spent a lovely evening last night with Thomas and Christina. Thomas made us dinner, then we headed downtown to see Live in Centennial Park. Which was thoroughly enjoyable, even if the lead singer does a really funny little side-to-side dancing thing that seems totally incongruous with most of their songs. Also, was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed Thomas's company. Which sounds like a very back-handed insult, and I don't mean it to be. It's just that the last few times I hung out with Thomas weren't all that fun. He's kind of intense, and the sort of person I describe as fun in limited doses. But last night was really lovely, which was nice.
Thanks to Kathy I've gotten motivated to work on increasing my jogging distance. Last night I ran 2.25 miles, .25 farther than wednesday, which is pretty exciting. Hopefully I'll be able to jog/walk three miles with the run against bush kids later this month. I was feeling pretty badly about my puny running distances until Kathy said the first time she ran more than a mile was sometime in her 20s, so perhaps there's hope for me yet. All I know is I feel a lot better/healthier than I have in about a year, so that's pretty awesome.

A little political stuff

Ok, because of course I couldn't post without some sort of political slant. The latest local dem group I've gotten involved with, called Kerry Win Georgia, is organizing a very cool political rally on September 1, the night Zell Miller is speaking at the GOP convention. We're going to 'divorce Zell' as a statement that he no longer represents us or our interests and he sure as hell doesn't speak for GA democrats. So if you're watching tv on Wednesday night, surf over to CNN in case they decide to cover any of it. Should be pretty interesting.

This just breaks my heart. ' The California Supreme Court today invalidated nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages performed in San Francisco earlier this year.' I don't care. Mayor Gavin Newsom did the right thing, and is a better person than a lot of other politicians I could think of.

Reason 615 why this administration sucks:
While Mr. Peterson blames both parties for conniving against fiscal common sense, he puts the present administration in a class of its own. George W. Bush has discarded traditional Republican qualms against big government, replacing the old Democratic model of tax-and-spend with his own model of borrow-and-spend. Thanks to three unaffordable tax cuts and an unfinanced Medicare drug benefit that will eventually cost $2 trillion a decade, Mr. Peterson writes, ''this administration and the Republican Congress have presided over the biggest, most reckless deterioration of America's finances in history."

And reason 512 why I love Jon Stewart:
'Wow. A remarkable piece of courage on his part, I think, to come out — and then he resigned. And I gotta say, I really hope that it's not because he's gay and openly saying he's gay. I hope that's not where we're at... Well, you know what? That probably is where we're at, quite frankly. But how sad is that?'

All right, enough. Time to empty the dishwasher so I can move the pile of dishes overflowing in the sink over to the dishwasher. Then time to go to Krogers. (how's that for incredibly mundane details of megan's life?)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Haven't had a chance to check these out for myself, but this article does some interesting number crunching.

Also, read an editorial in the times the other day by Bruce Springsteen in which he mentioned our social contract. It's been a long time since I heard that phrase (despite being fortunate enough to attend classes and conferences all about health as social justice and whatnot). And I wonder, is that still taught, ever, in school? Do people still know about the concept of a social contract? Do they live their lives with that in mind?

Which reminds me of a Teresa Heinz quote, from some of the convention coverage (still haven't gotten around to watching Kerry's speech, but have gotten through his children's introduction and the little video put together by the DNC). She spoke about becoming an American citizen, and working everyday to "earn that citizenship." Imagine how much greater our country might be if more people thought in those terms, rather than simply taking it for granted that we're American.

An excellent op-ed from the Times last week, about Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate in literature and political activist. Here's the conclusion:

In the face of this, Mr. Soyinka concludes, a choice must be made. "It's my duty to fight those who have chosen to belong to the party of death, those who say they receive their orders from God somewhere and believe they have a duty to set the world on fire to achieve their own salvation, whether they are in the warrens of Iraq, or in the White House," he said to me. "I
prefer to be a card-carrying member of the party of life."

Also, this just makes me mad. How come an article about the women's soccer team has to be about them as 'women' and Hamm as a wife? There's as much crap in here about her marriage and her husband as there is about the team! A perfect example of the sort of subtle sexism that Matt and I were discussing a few weeks ago.

Yet another post on This Modern World that makes me want to pull the covers up over my head. Has this administration no shame? National preparedness month my ass.

An excellent call to action. Of course, Kerry will (and already has) make (made) decisions with which I disagree. But this essay from Common Dreams captures my sentiments exactly:

Kerry and the Democrats will resist fundamental change but they will do so within the bounds of representative democracy and civil liberties.

Common sense allows one to distinguish between a rain storm and a hurricane.

Sometimes it IS about a matter of degree. That’s why I’ve stopped protesting and started registering voters.

And for those of you who need a personal reason to vote, here are two. Education and the price of tuition may not be the 'hot-button' issues in this election, but they are something that most (all?) of us can take personally. All of us have or know someone who has incredible debt as a result of going to college. So here are some differences between Bush and Kerry regarding college tuition and scholarships and grants. Not the best resource ever, but maybe it will get you or someone you know motivated, and you can always look up more information.
And for those of us (myself included) who have taken voting for granted in the past. Here's a little reminder of what it cost to have this right.

The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."
They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming,pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she
vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because--why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse.
Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."
Author unknown